Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: Bite Beauty Luminous Crème Lipstick Palette

Although I thought this sucker was totally sold out, it has recently come to my attention that there are a few places where you can still track this lip palette down. Additionally, the Bite Beauty Luminous Lip Library is available for sale at Sephora (marked down from $30 to $24). It also contains these colors (among others).


This tiny lipstick palette is packaged beautifully, in a way that is both simple and classic. Furthermore, as someone who works in the wine industry, the lipstick names of "Retsina", "Rosé", and "Tannin" were immediately amusing, even if the colors were inappropriate for the names.


Retsina is a neutral nude pink. In real life, Retsina is a Greek white wine that has been produced since ancient Roman times. Because it is a white wine, a clear gloss with a hint of golden shimmer might have been a more appropriate color, as this lipstick doesn't approximate the shade of Retsina varietal wines in any shape or form.

Bite Beauty Retsina on Human Face
Rosé is a pinky peach color. A rosé wine is a sort of intermediate between a red wine and a white wine. One of the big differences between red and white wines is the amount of contact the wine gets with the grape skins. Rosé wines, typically made from red wine varietals, are given some contact with the skins, which impart color, flavor, and tannins, but much less than a conventional red wine. I have never seen a rosé this color, but there is sufficient variation in these wines to warrant leniency for this color.

Bite Beauty Rosé on Human Face
Tannin is a classic red. In wine, tannins are polyphenolic molecules that create an astringent, dry feeling in your mouth as you taste many red wines. In terms of naming, I think that this was the biggest missed opportunity. Tannic wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah have a depth and darkness to them. A color called "Tannin" ought to be a vampy, deep, gothic red. This one should have been called "Pinot Noir" or something along those lines.

Bite Beauty Tannin on Human Face
Although I am skeptical about the naming (and also deeply disappointed that they can't seem to stick to a theme-- many of Bite Beauty's lipstick names have nothing to do with wine at all. Don't do themes half heartedly!), I do love the packaging and the concept. The brush is also surprisingly decent. Unfortunately, those are really the only positive things I have to say about this product. The lipsticks are incredibly waxy, and not as pigmented as I would like. A single swipe of color gives you a patchy, inconsistent aesthetic. If you really build it up, you can achieve acceptable coloration... but it won't last. Even "Tannin", which is a red color that would typically last very well, only gave me a solid hour of wear. That is beyond unacceptable for any lipstick.

The Luminous Crème Lipstick Palette retails for $10 for 0.075oz of product, which comes out to $133.33 per ounce. Although Sephora claims that it is a $38 value, that is clearly not the case. A full sized Bite Beauty lipstick costs $24 for 0.13oz ($184.62 per ounce). Based on those numbers, this palette would be worth $13.85. (The Luminous Lip Library, by these calculations, would be worth $55.38, not the $96 that Sephora claims.) However, that is assuming that the lipsticks in this palette are of comparable quality to Bite Beauty's full sized lipsticks. Given their waxy texture and terrible staying power, I think it's quite likely that corners were cut for this product, which would mean this palette is worth less than the $10 being charged for it.

1 comment:

  1. I bought this palette back during the Christmas sales and was disappointed by the quality. I actually thought the brush was the problem, until in desperation I used it with another lipstick. Imagine my surprise when it worked perfectly adequately to get the color onto my lips.

    I'm considering throwing the palette away and just keeping the little brush.

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